Where Are Stainless Steel Castings Typically Used? A Guide to Industry Applications of Stainless Steel Investment Castings

Do you have an application that requires outstanding resistance to corrosion and wear? Stainless steel castings may be just what you're looking for. Stainless steel's properties make it a prime choice for parts subjected to wear and corrosion. Combined with investment casting's advantages, stainless steel provides durable, intricately cast components for a wide range of industries.

This article will review the advantages of stainless steel, explore different stainless steel types and answer the question, "Where are stainless steel castings typically used?"

Where are Stainless Steel Castings Typically Used

The Advantages of Stainless Steel Castings

When it comes to picking the right material for your casting needs, stainless steel often rises to the top of the list. But why? Let's look at the crucial advantages that make stainless steel castings a go-to choice in investment casting.

  • Corrosion resistance — Ever notice how some metals rust quickly while others seem shiny and new for ages? That's one of stainless steel's star features. It holds up remarkably well in different environments, whether exposed to rain, sea air or harsh chemicals, making it a prime pick.
  • Strength and durability — It's not just about resisting rust. Stainless steel parts are tough. They can handle wear and tear, ensuring the components last longer and do their job without faltering.
  • Aesthetic appeal — There's no denying the beauty of shiny stainless steel. Its natural luster isn't just pleasing to the eye but also practical. If you want, it's easy to polish stainless steel to an even brighter shine, making it great for applications where appearance counts.
  • Non-reactivity — Some metals can react with chemicals, causing problems in certain settings. Not stainless steel. Its inert nature means it won't readily react with various chemicals, making it versatile for varied applications.
  • Economical for the long term — While the initial cost might be a consideration, think about the bigger picture. Stainless steel parts won't need frequent replacing or costly maintenance. In the long run, you save money. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable.

In essence, stainless steel isn't just a choice — it's often the best choice. With these advantages in mind, it's clear why so many industries lean on stainless steel investment castings.

A Range of Steel Investment Casting Materials

Stainless steel investment casting isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are different types of stainless steel, each with unique properties, crafted to serve specific needs. Let's break down some key varieties:

  • 400 series — This series is often called the "ferritic" and "martensitic" stainless steels. The names are based on the steel's structure and how it's made. 400 series stainless steel investment castings are magnetic and known for their excellent corrosion resistance and strength. Commonly used in everyday items, this steel is often found in cutlery, automotive exhaust systems and some architectural details.
  • 17-4PH — Here's a type of stainless steel that's a bit special. "PH" stands for precipitation-hardening, which means it's treated to boost its strength. 17-4PH stainless steel investment castings provide excellent corrosion resistance and are known for their high strength and good toughness. This type is often used in aerospace, chemical industries and other applications where durability and strength matter most.
  • 15-5PH — This one's a close relative to 17-4PH but with a few tweaks in its composition. 15-5PH stainless steel investment castings are also precipitation-hardened, but they offer better overall corrosion resistance and toughness, especially in high-stress conditions. Think of it as a refined version of 17-4PH, often used in the aerospace industry and other situations that demand top-tier performance.

While all stainless steels offer a blend of durability and corrosion resistance, choosing the right type for the job is essential. Whether it's the everyday reliability of the 400 series or the specialized strength of 17-4PH and 15-5PH, understanding these differences can lead to more informed decisions.

Applications of Stainless Steel Castings

Just as there are different stainless steel types, the applications of stainless steel castings are vast and varied. Stainless steel investment castings have made their way into multiple industries, showcasing the metal's adaptability and strength. Let's explore the sectors where this casting process truly shines.

Stainless Steel Castings
  • Aerospace — Flying high in the sky requires materials that won't falter. Stainless steel fits the bill. Found in engines, landing gear and various other aircraft parts, it's chosen for its unique combination of strength and resistance to extreme temperatures.
  • Medical — Tools that support healthcare professionals must be top-notch. Stainless steel is often the go-to for orthopedic implants, surgical instruments and other medical equipment, thanks to its non-reactive nature and ease of sterilization.
  • Food processing — Ever wonder how our food is processed safely? Stainless steel plays a significant role. Its resistance to food acids and non-reactivity make it a favorite for crafting machinery and tools in the food sector.
  • Automotive — Vehicles demand materials that can handle the road's challenges. Stainless steel steps up, offering resilience in engine components, gears and structural elements that face daily corrosion and stress.
  • Marine — The ocean is beautiful but harsh. Salty waters can wear down most materials, but not stainless steel. That's why it's the choice for marine equipment like deck fixtures — parts that face the sea's relentless corrosion.
  • Energy — Powering our world is no small feat. Stainless steel components are pivotal in the oil and gas sectors, and they're equally important in renewable energy systems, ensuring durability and reliability.
  • General industries — Outside of these specialized sectors, stainless steel's uses are widespread. It's in the tools we use, the machines that manufacture goods and even architectural elements that beautify spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stainless Steel Castings

The stainless steel market — valued at $111.4 billion —  is vast, and it can be hard to know who to trust. As a leading stainless steel castings manufacturer, Bescast has a wealth of knowledge to share. Read the following questions for the answers you need.

Is Stainless Steel Good for Casting?

With its outstanding resistance to corrosion and wear and superior surface finishes, stainless steel is excellent for casting.

What Are the Typical Applications of Investment Casting?

Typical investment casting applications include everything from aircraft parts to surgical instruments, food processing equipment, automobile components and so much more.

What Industries Use Investment Casting?

Nearly every industry uses investment casting, including aerospace, medical, automotive, food processing, energy and marine.

Trust Your Stainless Steel
Castings to Bescast

Casting stainless steel requires expertise and knowledge. Bescast offers all that and more. Backed by our unparalleled commitment to quality, we provide superior engineering and prototyping design services. You can count on Bescast to deliver the stainless steel castings that meet your requirements. Contact us now to see what we can do for you.